GOP Debate Moderator Calderon Pushed False Conspiracy Theory


Ilia Calderon on stage during Univision's Premio Lo Nuestro 2020 at AmericanAirlines Arena on February 20, 2020 in Miami, Florida.
(Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images)


Univision co-host Ilia Calderon was accused of reinforcing false narratives during the Fox News Republican presidential debate. She questioned Florida Governor Ron DeSantis about his state’s K-12 curriculum, implying that it suggested slavery had benefits for enslaved individuals. This line of questioning originated from claims made by Vice President Kamala Harris earlier in the year.

Calderon stated, “Florida’s new Black History curriculum says ‘slaves developed skills that in some instances could be applied for their personal benefit.'” DeSantis rejected the question as a “hoax” created by Harris to label Republicans as racist.

He defended the curriculum, stating it was written by descendants of slaves and celebrated black history scholars. He argued that the US education system is declining due to its focus on indoctrination and denial of parents’ rights, and that Florida represents a revival of American education.

Harris had previously criticized the Florida education standards, claiming that they taught middle school students that enslaved people benefited from slavery. Dr. William Allen, who helped design Florida’s new curriculum and is a former chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, refuted Harris’ remarks, describing them as “categorically false.”

Calderon also addressed another leftist narrative during the debate, asking former Vice President Mike Pence how he would protect LGBT+ Americans from violent attacks and discrimination in light of warnings from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that violence against this community is on the rise.

The Federalist’s Eddie Scarry has disputed this narrative, arguing in his 2022 book that there is no substantial evidence to support the claim of a significant increase in anti-LGBT crimes. He pointed out that one DHS report lacked citations to back up its findings and only cited a few prominent episodes of anti-LGBT violence.


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